Software Review - Eureka Plugins
September 8, 2003
Software Review - Eureka Plugins for FCP 4
Filters, Transitions and Generators
For FCP 4.0.1 - YUV
Download price $49.95
CDROM is 59.95. (includes First Class shipping in the US)
Review by Ken Stone
A long time ago, in a version far far way, when the Universe was rendered in RGB, there was a 'first' set of plugins. We knew not their origin nor creator, we knew only the name, Eureka. The forces of YUV swept in around the time of 1.5. driving the leader of Eureka, 'Romantic Text' from the Galaxy. Now, re-written for YUV and FCP 4.0.1, Eureka is back.
Available as both a download and on CD, Eureka provides an installer as well as a folder with the older versions of Eureka plugins for FCP 1.0 to 1.2.1. A number of new plugins have been added to the set.
The Video Transitions offer some interesting new choices, my favorite is the 'Film Dissolve' transition. I rendered out all of the transitions and found that I liked many of them with a bit longer duration, between 1 and 1 1/2 seconds. A chance to see the effect. The quality is excellent, motion smooth.
In the Video Filters section there are several 'Film' filters, Film Grain and Film Motion and Film Look Suite, which combines several different filmic parameters. A number of new filters have been added like Footage Counter but the classics are still there; Silk Stocking, Film Grain and Chroma Glow. There are some more utilitarian filters; RGB Channel Control, RGB Color Correction, and Selective Color Correction. The new Strobe Dissolve filter when used with appropriate video is very exciting.
There is even a 'Video Look' filter, which begs the question, why would anyone want to make video look like video. Actually, this filter is useful as it produces TV 'scan lines' to simulate viewing on a TV set.
Video Generators contains several of the old classic Eureka generators, re-written of course, Outline Text and Romantic Text. There is a 'Real 7.5 Black' generator to replace the Black Slug that comes with FCP. This generator has been set to 6% RGB and should provide a more accurate black level. There is a slider control so you can make further adjustments when monitoring output with external scopes.
From the Eureka 4.0 Read me. "There is a KNOWN ISSUE with the plugins. Some of the plugins, when you slide the sliders for input or scrub video quickly, will flash a red screen in the video window (Canvas or Viewer) stating that there is an "unknown error." I am working with Apple on a resolution. This will not affect the rendering of the plugin and only affects slower machines. Sorry!"
Eureka controls are straight forward and offer subtle control of the parameters for fine tuning. At $49 this is a very handsome package. I did find the "unknown error" thing a bit annoying. It is not possible to show here what the transitions actually look like, but take a minute and go to Eureka and see for yourself. These plugins are great, include a number of classic as well as new items and when rendered, really look great on NTSC.
Welcome back Eureka.
copyright © Ken Stone 2003
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